When ERP is no longer enough, in the IIOT ERA

The scenario in which manufacturing companies operate today is characterised by the globalisation of markets and increasing competition. This translates into increasingly complex production processes and the need to increasingly reduce response times to the market.

The objectives of companies are becoming increasingly ambitious due to the market that is also more demanding and faster. Today, more than yesterday, in fact, customers expect quick answers and products that tend to be personalised.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

In today’s markets it is extremely important to have a lean production process. Sharing information between the production plan and business systems can enable manufacturers to achieve new levels of efficiency. With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIot) revolutionizing manufacturing by leveraging smart, connected devices in factories, there are even more opportunities to refine operations with better data and process integration.

The immediate exchange of information between the company level and the production level helps to increase the overall efficiency of the plants, reduce production times and offer greater visibility to management by improving decision-making.

A classic situation is that of production planning departments planning and scheduling via spreadsheets. This is done to compensate for the shortcomings of the ERP, due to its structure. The problem is that such a “solution” actually creates further problems. Using Excel sheets, in fact, causes the creation of a large network of files, separated from each other, and does not allow the company to achieve the best.

(Read more: The 5 risks of planning production with Excel)

The limits of management systems

ERP software has technical limitations in allowing quality planning and scheduling. These constraints derive from the fact that management systems are transactional in nature, which makes it possible to evaluate only one production plan. For a correct planning and scheduling of production, it is instead necessary to be able to evaluate different scenarios, which is made possible by the simulative reasoning typical of APS.

In addition to this, the calculation times required by the planning modules offered by ERP providers are such that the companies that choose them then have to “turn around” them overnight. This means that if you arrive at the company in the morning and find that the planning has an error or there are unforeseen events, you must postpone the correct planning to the next day. On the other hand, the time required for APS is extremely shorter, so much so that the most powerful ones only take a few minutes.

Empowering ERP, the solution: APS

All these aspects have a significant weight today and no longer , which is why it is now essential to plan production through an APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling software) tool. Within companies and their supply chains, in fact, these tools are expanding more and more, which allow companies to achieve their objectives

A company that installs an APS solution by integrating it with the ERP in use finds numerous advantages, including a rapid return on investment (often less than a year), very fast operation (usually ranging from 1 to 5 months), high versatility and adaptability to the changing needs of the company, simulated possibilities of the production plan, calculation with finite capacity reasoning.

During the activity  of the ERP, the APS provides processing intelligence to the system, facilitates the integration of different functionalities and provides irreplaceable decision-making support at different levels.

APS also generate optimized plans and schedule their activities making them feasible, assist the company in forecasting demand, guarantee better data on which to base decisions.

Learn how to power your management software with the solution used by businesses around the world: Cybertec’s APS, CyberPlan >


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